How to keep baby safe during New York winters

Winters when I was a kid VS. winter now when I have a kid

Remember the days when you used to carelessly dance in rain and come home all soaked. First thing mom used to say “ go dry yourself up or you will fall sick”. In winters, when you decided to go to work with just one sweater, you ma will be ready with additional jacket and a muffler at the door. Now that I am mom, just thinking about these precious moments brings nostalgia and I can feel my eyes getting moist. BIGGEST TRUTH: When you are a new mom every little thing that you over looked or didn’t care about becomes something of colossal magnitude.

Facing New York winters as a first time mother was one such thing for me. New York winters are harsh, crazy, unpredictable and can be brutal. To top it all, there is a constant and crude assault of wind through out the season. Despite knowing how harsh winters can be, I still wished my baby’s first winter to be magical with gazing at snow while wrapped in cozy blankets. Being an Indian, I had no reference or anyone to consult with as to how should I prepare for winters? Secondly, I love being outdoors. I love taking my pup out for walks. Especially, being on sabbatical and taking care of a baby, my walks are my haven. They are my “Me time”, so thinking about spending almost 6 months indoor was too much for me. Hence, I started researching about how to keep my baby safe as well as have fun. So, all the new mothers out there, thinking the same thing or questioning themselves about how they will face their first winters? I hope this blog is helpful for them. I am not a doctor or a health professional. These are just my experiences as they worked for me. I always say every child is different and you can just try if it works for you.

How to keep baby safe during winters

Clothing for winters:

When it comes to layering your child with clothes you always end up asking “How much is too much?”. Therefore, following are two basic principles that were suggest to me by my son’s pediatrician and these became my mantra during winters:

1) Dress your baby always in one layer extra than what you are wearing .

2) When going out dress up your baby in the end. Meaning, get ready first because baby can get over heated when you put all those extra layers on them. Infants can’t regulate their body temperature, so your make up and dressing up first then comes baby’s jackets and jumpers in the end.

I was almost tempted to turn my little munchkin into an eskimo. But I realized too many layers restrict baby’s movement, which, further irritates them. So, the idea is to pick fabric which is warm but not too thick. Under mentioned is my favorite combination for outdoors:

Full sleeve bodysuit vest + Full sleeve warm fleece jumper with footies + Fleece jacket with hoodie (Add this when it is peak winters) + Full downer Jumper with hoodie (to block the wind) + mittens along with blankey

Investing in a lot of fleece jumpers is one the smartest thing i did during winters because they are great indoors and outdoors. Always, carry an extra pair of everything if you are likely to be out for more than 2 hours.

Bath & Skin care:

If I should bathe my baby every day or not? This is another question every mom faces when they have an infant and especially, during winters. Its okay to bathe your baby once in two or three days. Personally, I advocate massaging and bathing baby once a day. This is something I have learnt from my mother. Your baby doesn’t need it but it will only do good and boost their immunity system. Imagine, a relaxing massage with warm organic herbal oil followed by a warm bath… who can resist the relaxation that follows it. Though, be extremely careful about time and temperature of room along with water in which you are bathing your baby. Night bath rituals are great and help babies sleep better. But, if there is a sunny room where you can massage and bathe your baby, even that is good idea. Plus, you can get some relaxing time for yourself during the day.

As far as products are concerned there are tons of options but Aquaphor has become my go to brand when it comes to bathing and skin care. Especially, during peak winters if your baby develops dry skin or cracked lips. Why Aquaphor? The only downside of bathing your little baby everyday is their skin loses moisture. I love how Aquaphor keeps my baby’s skin smooth and moist even after bath, which a lot of famous brands were not able to do.

Food & Milk:

My baby welcomed winter as we celebrated his six month birthday. It was an exciting time for all of us. He had just started discovering different tastes and textures of food. If your baby is under six months, obviously, his or her main meal is still breastmilk or formula. In case, you have started solids adding powdered nuts especially almonds to their diet can do wonders. Even dates is is also a great option and is amazing in boosting immunity. All cultures have warm foods and soup recipes. Don’t forget to ask your mother or grand mother for secret recipes.

Traveling & Stroller Accessories:

Nature is the best teacher that there is. Believing strongly in that I feel it is imperative to take babies out even in winters (not when there is weather advisory or any direct threat). An afternoon walk routine or whenever it suits you as per your schedule with baby is a great way of introducing your little one with different facets of nature. If your baby is less than three months, I would not suggest it though. Being in fresh air does great for both mom and babies. I have a simple logic, which again comes from my upbringing i.e. your baby should be taken to different atmospheres and natural habitats, so that their little bodies can get used to, plus, I have read in a lot of studies that more you are exposed to nature, less are the chances of developing allergies and several breathing problem. But the question is how? It goes without saying baby should be properly clothed. There are some amazing products available in the market and online to keep your baby covered. Following being the must haves on my list if you are out.

Weather shields – Basically, a plastic sheet which covers the entire stroller and protects your little one from harsh and brutal winds. Make sure you invest in a good one and it fits properly, otherwise, wind will blew the shield and there won’t be any protection from weather just added frustration.

Bundle Me: My baby loves to kick and play, so initial gig with double blankets to cover him up didn’t last for long. Therefore, I strongly recommend bundle me for babies. Its a like a sleeping bag but for strollers. It keeps babies absolutely snug. They are a bit expensive but totally worth it. One suggestion, which, I am again stealing from my mom’s book is buy toddler size if you want it to ask for two seasons. Rest, nature take its course and let baby get acclamitised to the changing weather.

All in all, I hope this blog helps you and your little to enjoy their first winter. This has turned out to be one of my longest blog ever because I wanted to cover all the aspects and I hope this read does that.

Stay warm and winters is just one more excuse to cuddle with your little cupcake.

11 replies »

  1. I just had a baby so thank you so much for these tips as we were thinking about heading somewhere cold for the holidays

  2. These are all such great tips and tricks for keeping a baby safe in a NYC winter! I’ve only ever been in the summer, but being from Toronto (not THAT incredibly far from NY), I can attest to how frigid our winters can get!

  3. My kids are a little older, but they also have to deal with dry skin in the winter. We use special soaps and shampoos and lotions whe the weather gets cold to help.

  4. This is great! It has to be so different seeing it through your child’s eyes vs. experiencing it for yourself!

  5. Yes keeping the baby warm is highly necessary. One of my friend’s kid got sick when he was shifted from the plains to the hills. He could not get accustomed to the drastic and sudden weather change and got sick. He got well but the pain he underwent could have been avoided with proper care.

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